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Front Page: Twins Minor League Report (8/24): Gray, Webb...

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In the Twins' minor leagues on Saturday night, the E-Twins were on the road but got a huge late-inning home run to take a lead. In Cedar...
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Andrew Luck retiring, Mauer and others. A perspective.

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:21 AM
In a stunning announcement, Andrew Luck, 29 years old, announced today be was retiring from the NFL. Maybe I should state he is 29 years...
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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/24): Sano 3-Run Bomba, Bu...

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The Twins trailed the Tigers 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning tonight at Target Field, but Miguel Sano smashed a go-ahead...
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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (8/23): Berríos, Bullpen Can...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:14 AM
Kicking off the Players Weekend, the Twins hosted the first of a three-game series against the team with the worst record and offense in...
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7 things nobody saw coming this season

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:40 AM
Read this article and was not surprised to see this disclaimer (it is, after all, the Twins, right???) : "Now, obviously, there are envir...
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Craig Kimbrel’s Trickle-Down Effect

Minnesota’s bullpen has been one point of contention this season. There are a lot of unknowns and fans have been clamoring to add the best free agent relief pitcher, Craig Kimbrel. The Twins seem to be in a decent position without adding Kimbrel on a multi-year contract for over $40 million. That still doesn’t mean he couldn’t help the current squad.

How would a Kimbrel signing impact the rest of the bullpen?
Image courtesy of © Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Early Season Results
Minnesota’s limited amount of games to start the season has certainly altered the bullpen’s results. Only three pitchers have appeared in double-digits games (Trevor May, Trevor Hildenberger, and Taylor Rogers). Blake Parker and Taylor Rogers have split save situations with both players earning three saves or more.

There have been some surprises so far this season. Minus one appearance in Houston, Ryne Harper has been outstanding. There’s reason to believe he could continue this in the weeks ahead. Hildenberger, Rogers, and Parker have also been outstanding. Does that mean the Twins aren’t that desperate to add depth to the bullpen?

The Ninth Inning Question
Craig Kimbrel might not want to pitch outside of the ninth inning. With 333 saves, he currently ranks in the top 14 on the all-time list. He’s a long way away from catching Mariano Rivera’s 652 saves, but there is room for him to move up the list. Even if he signs after the draft this season, he could still pass Rollie Fingers (341 saves) and Randy Myers (347 saves).

Also, Kimbrel might not be willing to pitch outside of the ninth inning. Rocco Baldelli has been open to using relief pitchers in the best situation. Would Kimbrel be willing to enter the game in the seventh inning if the opposing team’s best hitters were scheduled to appear.

Relief pitching has drastically changed during the last handful of seasons. Kimbrel might be more worried about his long-term legacy than the results of team he has little connection tio.

Trickle Down Effect
If Kimbrel came in to be the team’s closer, other strong relief pitchers would be able to be utilized in earlier innings. May, Hildenberger, Rogers, and Parker could be utilized in earlier innings. Pushing all of the relief pitchers back an inning would mean the starters don’t need to go as long.

This could make the bullpen even stronger and it could allow the Twins even more separation in the American League Central Division. Will Kimbrel solve everything that is wrong with this team? No… But he could add depth to a strong core. This could be the difference in a first-round exit and a competitive team in the AL Championship Series.

Could Kimbrel make that much of a difference? I believe he can…

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27 Comments

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howieramone2
Apr 23 2019 07:29 PM

I would be surprised if we did anything, until they figure out how they are going to use Magill, Moya, Romero, and Reed. Also, I wouldn't take a pitcher who missed this much time. 

 

We are far from the only team that has a shaky bullpen. They may need to make tough decisions om Mejia and May. I believe they will wait until the trade deadline to make a move.

    • Sconnie and bighat like this
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MMMordabito
Apr 23 2019 07:37 PM
Insert dead horse here
    • REPETE, Doomtints and DannySD like this
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yarnivek1972
Apr 23 2019 08:22 PM
If Kimbrel is more worried about his legacy than winning games (something I seriously doubt), no one is going to touch him with a ten foot bat.

Outstanding, eh? I must have drastically different standards for outstanding.

    • USAFChief, Thrylos, jokin and 2 others like this

The Twins bullpen was able to find success when the schedule had frequent off days that allowed the team to utilize Rogers/Parker/Hildenberger/May whenever they needed. Now that the team is playing every day the bullpen's lack of depth is getting exposed. Putting Mejia, Harper, or any of the Rochester call-ups on the mound in close games has not worked out well for the team. Adding Kimbrel would go a long ways to shoring up a bullpen with limited late inning options.

    • h2oface, goulik and Wizard11 like this
They need Kimbrel and another two arms at least.

Rogers...check.

Hildenberger, in small doses.

May the same.

Parker, ok I guess.

Everyone else can go, and be replaced by relievers that slot in above Hildenberger.
    • jokin, h2oface, Lunger and 4 others like this

Twins front office just doesn't make moves like this. Unless the guy is Korean or something. It's got to be a cheap gamble, or it won't happen. 

 

They need Kimbrel and another two arms at least.

Rogers...check.

Hildenberger, in small doses.

May the same.

Parker, ok I guess.

Everyone else can go, and be replaced by relievers that slot in above Hildenberger.

 

 

(Largely) concur. But admittedly, unlike Cody, 

I post to bury this bullpen, not to praise it.

 

May's performance potential has seemingly regressed towards a Swarzak-esque long reliever/mop-up role. May seems to have not regained his slider from 2018. His K - BB% has fallen from 30% to 7%. And his swinging strike rate has largely evaporated.

 

As much as I like what they've done so far this season, Harper and Hildy are less-

reliable MLB RPs-

and more like-

gimmicky novelty throwers-

dreading the inevitable end of their current carnival ride.

 

On a team that is serious about actually contending for a Series berth, these three would be your bottom three BP options.

 

Parker hasn't performed anywhere near his career numbers, but as an established vet, he's earned a little slack to right his ship going forward.

 

Rogers has been great, He's the one arm of these 5 that I would feel comfortable with heading into post-season.

 

From the 3 RPs currently on IL, they have to count on at least 2 to become shut-down level in effectiveness once they are physically ready to go. At this point given their individual circumstances, that's a tall order.....

 

Makes you really wonder why:

 

1) they felt so compelled to deal Pressly last year?

 

2) why they felt so little urgency to more firmly bolster this shaky pen in the offseason with a trade from the excess position players/prospects in the system?

 

3) with the nice job they did in remaking the position player roster via free agency, why didn't they take the logical leap one stop farther and sign another arm?

 

Time to see what it's going to take to lock down Kimbrel, but given the small chances of his actually coming here, to start mining the pitching rosters for immediate talent infusions from teams like the Giants and Orioles who have already packed it in.

 

Addendum:

How about going the Cardinals route and promote your best swing-and-miss prospects, perhaps Thorpe or Graterol, and see if they have the moxie to throw a clean inning every third day?

Twins front office just doesn't make moves like this. Unless the guy is Korean or something.


Quick, let's fabricate a "23 And Me" report for "Korea" Kimbrel, and deliver it to 1 Twins Way!
    • jimbo92107 likes this

I'll once again repeat... This team was built to compete, not win. There is a difference. They will beat the poorer teams in the league, compete against the average teams in the league and lose against the best teams in the league. They have 1 good arm in the bullpen to rely on. Rogers. After that it's a crap shoot. And the crap has already hit the fan.

A buddy of mine have this conversation 3X a week. I keep pounding the table for Kimbrel. He makes all the other pitchers on the roster better. Yes, even Berrios. I'm a proponent of the Big Bad Bull in the back of the Pen!

how far out is Romero's return? He's theguy in the organization now that I am most excited about for an important bullpen role.

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yarnivek1972
Apr 24 2019 08:46 AM

how far out is Romero's return? He's the guy in the organization now that I am most excited about for an important bullpen role.

It’s up to his performance. Since he was brought up as the 26th man, I don’t think he would have to wait 10 days to come back.

He’s given up 3 HR in 8 innings at AAA. Not exactly screaming “call me up”.
    • nokomismod likes this

Kimbrel is a reasonable fit on this team because the offense appears to be good enough to keep the twins in most games even when the starters aren't clicking. So even if he only wants to be out there in save situations, he's going to get used this year (we hope) and not have too many of those weeks where he only gets in 1 game. I suspect he can still pitch, and the extra month or so off probably isn't going to hurt him much (and might even help keep him fresh down the stretch).

 

But again: what the hell does he actually want, and would he be willing to come here?

 

is it 1 year and $15M? $18M? $20M? $13M? I have no idea at this point. (hell, it might be 1 year $18M, but it's pro-rata and we'd only have to pay $14M.)

 

Is it a multi-year deal of at least 3 years? Where's the AAV on that one?

 

I wouldn't mind adding him at all, he'd be a guy you'd be hard-pressed not to rely on. But I have no idea if what he wants is even in the ballpark or if he'd come here.

 

He’s given up 3 HR in 8 innings at AAA. Not exactly screaming “call me up”.

FWIW, those were all in that one crazy 15 HR game.

 

Outside of that, Romero has only allowed 1 hit in 7 innings, zero runs, 2 BB (and 2 HBP), 9 K's.

 

Still a work in progress, as evidenced by his season debut in Baltimore. He might get a chance tonight to make a case against the Astros -- I suspect either Romero or Harper could get optioned to make room for Magill as early as Friday.

    • nokomismod, Sconnie and DannySD like this

The question not asked above:

 

Does Kimbrel want to be a Twin?

 

If the answer is no, none of this matters.

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ChrisKnutson
Apr 24 2019 04:48 PM
I know this about Kimbrel, but the Phillies just DFAd bullpen lefty James Pazos. Perhaps he’s worth look?? I’m guessing he’d be just as effective as Mejia’s been.
    • cmoss84 likes this

Baseball journalists are implying there is a bit of a bidding war going on right now among some NL teams for Kimbrel's services, and he is merely being patient and waiting for the best offer to emerge.

 

The Twins don't partake in such things as bidding wars.

I know this about Kimbrel, but the Phillies just DFAd bullpen lefty James Pazos. Perhaps he’s worth look?? I’m guessing he’d be just as effective as Mejia’s been.

Hopefully we are looking for guys better than Mejia

 

I know this about Kimbrel, but the Phillies just DFAd bullpen lefty James Pazos. Perhaps he’s worth look?? I’m guessing he’d be just as effective as Mejia’s been.

 

I watched him pitch a couple of times for Seattle and was very impressed. It's not that I impress easy. I watch a lot of baseball games and therefore a lot of players. You have to look impressive for me to remember the player. Pazos is left handed with a very hard sinker, kinda like Zach Britton. Obviously not nearly as good as Britton in his prime but we are talking about a very hard sinker. 

 

When the Mariners traded Segura to the Phillies, Pazos looked like he was a throw-in. Segura and Nicasio plus Pazos to the Phillies for Santana and J.P. Crawford.

 

 

Santana had 2 years around 34 million on his contract. Segura was around 9 million for one year.(Phillies have since signed him to a larger long term contract. Nicasio was about 9 million for one year so the Money was somewhat Neutral. 

 

So the Mariners who were (seemingly) trying to shed payroll this off-season ended up Money Neutral with J.P. Crawford as the prize. Therefore... Pazos looks like a throw in in a deal that the Phillies should have taken every day and twice on Sunday even without Pazos included in the deal. 

 

So I ask myself... why would someone with a live left handed arm who is performing very well be thrown in?

 

I assume it must be an injury or mechanical issue and now the Phillies have cut him before April is over. 

 

Something ain't right... because the Arm I saw was extremely impressive. 

 

If it's mechanical... Take a Flyer on Pazos... And go ahead sign Kimbrel.  

 

 

    • ChrisKnutson, howieramone2 and cmoss84 like this
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ChrisKnutson
Apr 26 2019 04:40 PM

I watched him pitch a couple of times for Seattle and was very impressed. It's not that I impress easy. I watch a lot of baseball games and therefore a lot of players. You have to look impressive for me to remember the player. Pazos is left handed with a very hard sinker, kinda like Zach Britton. Obviously not nearly as good as Britton in his prime but we are talking about a very hard sinker. 
 
When the Mariners traded Segura to the Phillies, Pazos looked like he was a throw-in. Segura and Nicasio plus Pazos to the Phillies for Santana and J.P. Crawford.
 
 
Santana had 2 years around 34 million on his contract. Segura was around 9 million for one year.(Phillies have since signed him to a larger long term contract. Nicasio was about 9 million for one year so the Money was somewhat Neutral. 
 
So the Mariners who were (seemingly) trying to shed payroll this off-season ended up Money Neutral with J.P. Crawford as the prize. Therefore... Pazos looks like a throw in in a deal that the Phillies should have taken every day and twice on Sunday even without Pazos included in the deal. 
 
So I ask myself... why would someone with a live left handed arm who is performing very well be thrown in?
 
I assume it must be an injury or mechanical issue and now the Phillies have cut him before April is over. 
 
Something ain't right... because the Arm I saw was extremely impressive. 
 
If it's mechanical... Take a Flyer on Pazos... And go ahead sign Kimbrel.


If not Pazos, perhaps we could pair up the Giants for another trade, because apparently they’re “pursuing a trade for an outfielder.” Why not package Cave with 1-2 prospects for either Tony Watson or Sam Dyson??

 

If not Pazos, perhaps we could pair up the Giants for another trade, because apparently they’re “pursuing a trade for an outfielder.” Why not package Cave with 1-2 prospects for either Tony Watson or Sam Dyson??

 

I'm thinking Pazos because he's priced for free at the moment and he was pretty impressive when I saw him but there is something going on. You don't release an arm like that.

 

As for Watson and Dyson I'd welcome them to the club but April or May trades don't happen that often. 

 

Kimbrel and Pazos... They are only money at the moment.  

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jorgenswest
Apr 26 2019 07:00 PM

I'm thinking Pazos because he's priced for free at the moment and he was pretty impressive when I saw him but there is something going on. You don't release an arm like that.
 
As for Watson and Dyson I'd welcome them to the club but April or May trades don't happen that often. 
 
Kimbrel and Pazos... They are only money at the moment.


The price for Pazos was Hunter Stovall. Not a solid prospect but had a nice debut last year in rookie ball.
    • Riverbrian likes this

Pazsos went to the Rockies

    • Riverbrian likes this

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